Scene: a crowded cafe in Newcastle.
Bob looks around the room, waits for me to take a sip of coffee, then says at the top of his voice : “SO CHRIS, IS YOUR BROTHER GAY LIKE YOU?”
Scene: Durham Cathedral, packed for a concert. Bob is the conductor. Tonight is the night when there are loads of simultaneous performances of the Creation taking place all over the country, in aid of the hospice movement. One of these performances is being relayed live on Radio 2 and the idea is that all the concerts will start at exactly the same time, so while we wait on the podium the radio relay is being fed directly through the cathedral’s tannoy system. A cheery Radio 2 announcer is describing the scene in detail and the plan is that he’ll give a countdown to the opening downbeat, at which point the tannoy will be silenced and we’ll start. Bob, next to me, is fidgety.
Announcer “And now coming on to the platform are tonight’s soloists, Helen Screechy, soprano, (I’ve obviously changed the names to protect the real, well-known singers) Justin Yelp, tenor, and finally David Strained, bass. They have rehearsed this afternoon and I can tell you they are in fine voice… ”
Bob turns to me, baton poised, and says really rather loudly: “WELL LOVE, THAT MAKES A CHANGE!”
I posted this one on Facebook but it’s my favourite and it shows Bob’s wisdom to perfection.
A very well known bass said to Bob “My ambition is to be the best bass in the world.”
Bob: “That’s lovely. How will you know?”